I have never considered myself to be a perfectionist. I pay great attention to detail and work hard, but I’m a firm believer in achieving the best results rather than obsessing over the perfect outcome. I have no problem with getting things done in most areas of my life, yet when it comes to personal projects I tend to hold back waiting for the perfect moment, which of course never arrives. This prompted me to adopt the mantra “done is better than perfect.”
I’ve tried my hand at blogging several times over; I was heavily into Tumblr (when it was cool and emerging), switched to Blogger before moving on to WordPress – my obsession with starting over to create something better was just a way of procrastinating and ultimately completing nothing. If I had been consistent with creating content since 2010, I would have a solid body of work by now.
The real lesson in consistency came about earlier this year when I helped my sister with a project. We went back and forth on deciding a launch date; my advice to her was to wait and refine her idea, but she’s strong-willed and determined, so instead chose to go against my judgement and presented her idea sooner rather than later.
Guess what? It turned out to be a success, she created a buzz and began to build momentum. I would have been stuck in the starting block, still plotting on my big idea, whilst my sister had already leapt over the first hurdle!
I couldn’t help but think of when my Year 10 Art Teacher would chastise me for using an eraser as I was sketching, she would always confiscate it and say:
Just keep going, stop erasing the work you’ve already done to create the perfect piece — build on what you have…
Okay, so those weren’t her exact words, she just snatched the eraser from my desk and told me that I was missing the point of art, but it inadvertently became one of my greatest life lessons that I was oblivious to at the time — a bit like reading Animal Farm in Year 8!
Now I push myself to just get things done, starting with this blog, which has been a long time coming. I created this platform to hold myself accountable and to be held accountable by all my friends who are now going to be on my case (heyyyy), but most of all I hope it encourages at least one person to take action to finish what they’ve started.
My takeaway lesson:
See things through to completion — done is better than perfect.